Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Green Fingers: Beech Don’t Kill My Vine

It may take a village to raise a child but anyone can raise a chile.

Taking care of and the long term growth of plants seem to really put people off but could not be easier.

Now, I was not born with green fingers, it was learned. I started with flowers. My mother was a florist for many years and I grew up surrounded by flowers and plants in and outside the house. I was raised with plants in my room and can now never not have some green around me.

Please note I’m not a scholarly or scientific voice, I have never taken a biology class and my knowledge of science is limited to all I gleaned from The Magic School Bus. But it just goes to show that anyone can take care of a plant. It is not that hard.

Plants are a lot like people. They get tired and thirsty from too much sun, they get stressed when moving to a new place, they put in a lot of energy to reproducing. Learning the basics and signs of what your plant needs is not hard, just takes some time and it will be so worth it.

There are many plants that are very easy to grow* inside and good for the beginning botanist.

Examples of the different types of plants mentioned.

1. Snake Plant or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

This is a hardy trucker, I have had mine for 8 years and it is still going strong. It is slow growing but a vertical looker and a known air freshener. Don’t over water. The connections at the root can rot if water is left there. Make sure all of your planters have holes to drain at the bottom and then some dish to catch the water. Don’t think you are above the law. You’re not. Stagnant water is no good. Anywhere, or ever. You don’t soak in the bath for days, and neither do your plants.

2. Devil’s Ivy or Pothos

This is a great plant is a quick grower and goes on forever. Tendrils can be cut and placed back in soil re-root or just tucked in the dirt. It is fun to this fella reach across a desk or down a bookshelf. Saying water every three days is hard to measure. Water when, if you wiggle the first inch of you finger into the dirt and it is dry. This goes for most tropical, indoor plants.

3. Succulents (Cacti/Cactuses)

Even if you have turned these brown before it might not have been your fault! Most general stores use the same potting mix with all their plants. This mix which is really good at retaining moisture is not good for the succulents, who prefer a more sandy, water flowing through mix. If you get the right mix these plant will thrive with little water.

4. Mosses

Yes, we live in Seattle an the PNW in general has moss growing on moss but these resilient thrivers do well in minimal light and damp environments. This humble plant can look stunning filling a round vase or on a rock in a pretty dish. Just sprits these fussy creatures with a squirter until moist. Yes, moist.

And don’t get discouraged if you have killed before. There are very tricky plants to grow, especially in Seattle. But with my help and guidance anyone can have the trending, freshest and easiest ways to live green. Spring is a great time to start over and start exercising those green fingers.

*Keep in mind that ‘hard to kill plants’ are not always a good thing. There are many invasive, or non-native species that have choked out many natural plants in the process of growing and are hard to eliminate so being so resilient is not always a good thing. Please be conscious of what become of your plants.

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Kelsey Cook, Author

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